Today’s picture shows that very rare thing, a patch of blue sky over our garden.

blue sky

Not only did we get some (not much) blue sky today but we didn’t get any snow either so the day was counted for me as a definite improvement on recent efforts.  Dropscone, who went round the morning run in lonely splendour, said that it had seemed just as cold and windy for a cyclist as ever when he joined us for coffee.  He was particularly welcome today as he brought three Eccles cakes with him as well as the usual scones.

I hadn’t gone cycling because I am feeling a little tired at the moment and the prospect of pedalling 21 miles in a freezing cold 20 mph east wind did not appeal.

I did go out into the garden and do a carefully moderated session of lawn spiking and compost sieving.  Spring,  however, remains on hold and apart from the snowdrops, a few early daffodils and some crocuses, nothing is even looking ready to flower yet.

Having said yesterday that few greenfinches are visiting, I was proved wrong (again) by a steady influx of them today.



It would be interesting to know where they were yesterday.

I am encouraging the chaffinches to adopt more artistic poses at the feeder and I thought that this composition was not a bad effort.

artistic chaffinches

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to work again and I thought that I would try a little gentle pedalling.  Our ride yesterday was well sheltered so I went round the same route again today.  After I arrived back in town, I felt perky enough to go round for a second lap.  This time I stopped to take a picture or two.

The Esk was very low when I crossed Potholm Bridge
There was enough water for two goosanders though.

They are very shy birds and always paddle off as soon as I get the camera out.

Milnholm Farm
Milnholm Farm, built on a promontory onto the flood plain.
This lamb seemed to be full of life.
Two oystercatchers among the lambs.

I had thought of doing twenty miles but after ten miles my legs had had enough and I bailed out and headed for home.  As soon as I got home, the sun came out and I watched some very active siskins on the feeder.


They don’t take to sharing very well.


In fact they don’t take to it at all.


There were moments of peace.


The sun was so tempting that I had a wander round the garden to see if it had encouraged the plants.  It hadn’t.  The golden box plants provided some rich colour though.


And the row of blue crocuses did at least open up their petals.


Mrs Tootlepedal is worried that the tulips behind the crocuses may not flower even though they are looking quite healthy.

I read in the paper today that the British population of starlings has collapsed drastically.  At least there was one here today.


I really admire birds’ ability to balance.

I was going to check if there were any ducks about when a passer by, seeing me with camera in hand, asked me to be sure to catch her best side.  I think that I managed to comply pretty well.

Irene:  you can see that in spite of the sunshine, we still needed to be well wrapped up.

We live in a cheerful neighbourhood.  Mind you this robin looked uncharacteristically grumpy today.


I was unexpectedly tired by now so I went in to have a relaxing bath.  This usually does the trick but today, I got out of it even more tired than I had been when I got in.  Mrs Tootlepedal and I had intended to go to a charity quiz night in Canonbie this evening but I was absolutely knocked flat and I had to cry off and sit doing nothing at all for a couple of hours before I could even summon up the energy to look at the pictures that I had taken during the day.  I don’t know where the tiredness came from but I am hopeful that it will disappear again in short order.

Today’s flying bird is a chaffinch waiting for the siskins to give it a break.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “Overtaken

  1. So sorry about the fatigue, very annoying indeed. Hope a leisurely day did the trick. The flying bird was a real winner.

  2. Oh Dear, I am sorry you were so tired! Hope you feel better today. You still managed to post the usual interesting blog. I particularly liked the unusual robin picture.

  3. This robin seems to be more attentive than your former pupils used to be. Just wonder what you tell him to be so vigilant. Concerning the tiredness – well, a weather more suited for christmas than for easter takes its toll. Last year at this time the garden was in full swing while it now is covered with frost and snow. small wonder one gets depressed.

  4. I think we’re all suffering from a vitamin D deficiency but what ever the cause of your tiredness, I hope you’re fully charged again soon. We had some sunshine today but my other half, Mud, reported snow, as he had a crafty smoke at the back door a couple of hours ago 😦

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